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Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson
About Ghosts of Painting Past
Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN
It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.
During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.
Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve always been a big reader, particularly of mysteries, but I never thought I’d be a writer. When I was in my early 40s, I woke up one day with this image of a young woman finding the body of her painting teacher in her garden and thought it would be fun to try writing it. Fast forward 10 or 15 years and that book became Fatal Brushstroke, the first book in my Aurora Anderson mystery series and the first book of mine that was published.
What genres do you write in?
I write mysteries/crime fiction. My books are all cozies, but I have written a few short stories that are on the darker end of the crime spectrum.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I’ve loved reading mysteries for as long as I can remember. I enjoyed Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew in grade school and was introduced to Agatha Christie in junior high. When I started writing, I decided to write a cozy mystery, the kind of mysteries that I love to read.
How did you break into the field?
While I was working on my first book, I also wrote some short stories. It helped me practice plotting and creating characters. My first published work was a short story that I wrote featuring the protagonist of my mystery series, Aurora Anderson, “Family Business”. Many years later, after I felt my book was in good enough shape to try to sell it, I met the managing editor of Henery Press at the California Crime Writers Conference. She expressed interest in the series and, a short time later, I had a contract for the first three books in the series.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I hope readers enjoy spending time with my characters and that they get a glimpse into what it’s like to live in a Southern California beach city. I also hope that they get some idea of what tole/decorative painting is and maybe decide to try it for themselves.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I get great satisfaction out of seeing my work in print and realizing I created it out of just an idea. I also really love hearing that readers have enjoyed my stories.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
It’s a toss-up between writing to a deadline and promoting my work. While I love meeting readers and attending conferences, promoting myself and my work does not come naturally to me.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
The main thing I would say is to be persistent. Just because one editor or agent says no doesn’t mean there isn’t another one out there who would be interested in publishing or representing your work. I also think writing short stories is a good way to learn to write mysteries and to get publishing credits.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I read a lot of different types of books. Half of my reading is non-fiction, half fiction. On the non-fiction end I particularly enjoy books on history and linguistics. On the fiction end, I mostly read cozy mysteries though I occasionally branch out to read other types of crime novels, some science fiction and fantasy and general fiction. I also enjoy some of the middle grade mysteries that are out there.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I have degrees in Computer Science and was in software development for twenty years before switching to crime writing. My hobbies include tole/decorative painting (like the main character in my mystery series) and ancient languages. I’ve been studying Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for quite a few years now as well as Coptic.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/sybiljohnsonauthor
Blog: www.typem4murder.blogspot.com (This is a multi-author blog where I post every other Wednesday.)
About Sybil Johnson
Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.
Facebook Author page: www.facebook.com/sybiljohnsonauthor
Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle – Amazon Paperback – Kobo
November 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 19 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
November 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 21 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 23 – My Reading Journeys – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 24 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 25 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 28 – Thanksgiving
November 29 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
November 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
November 30 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
December 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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Sybil Johnson (@SybilJohnson19)
Thanks for hosting my book. The questions were fun to answer.